Rex Tillerson was awarded by Putin with Order of Friendship.
The U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has decided to nominate Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of an energy giant Exxon Mobil, to be the Secretary of State in his government, according to the New York Times, according to Uatoday.
Mr. Tillerson, 64, has a two-decade long relationship with Russia, and was even awarded with the Order of Friendship by President Putin back in 2013 for his work ‘strengthening cooperation in the energy sector'.
A known critic of Putin, Republican Senator John McCain told Reuters that he was cautious about Mr. Tillerson's nomination.
‘I have concerns. It's very well known that he has a very close relationship with Vladimir Putin', McCain said.
Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers warned that Tillerson's candidacy could face battle in the Senate over his ties to Russia. There is also an issue of Exxon Mobil, which might benefit greatly if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia.
Tillerson has been openly critical of the sanctions, imposed by the West for its role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The restrictions have halted Exxon Mobil's significant projects in Russia, some of them could be worth billions of dollars.